Betting Dark Horses that Could Win the NBA Championship

Posted by Eric Williams on April 14, 2016 in

With the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and Cleveland Cavaliers the top three favorites to cash in on their current odds to win the 2016 NBA Championship odds, NBA basketball bettors everywhere need to know which ‘dark horse’ title contenders have the best chances of pulling off what would undoubtedly amount to one of the most historic upsets in league history?

Betting Dark Horses that Could Win the NBA Championship

The Favorites

Golden State Warriors 1/2
San Antonio Spurs 19/5
Cleveland Cavaliers 4/1
Oklahoma City Thunder 15/1
Los Angeles Clippers 40/1

Now, removing that trio of favorites from this conversation – along with the duo of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers – let’s look at each dark horse title contender.

Odds To Win The 2016 NBA Finals

Team Odds
Toronto Raptors 50/1
Miami Heat 75/1
Boston Celtics 80/1
Atlanta Hawks 100/1
Charlotte Hornets 125/1
Portland Blazers 175/1
Indiana Pacers 200/1
Detroit Pistons 250/1
Houston Rockets 250/1
Dallas Mavericks 500/1
Memphis Grizzlies 1000/1


The second-seeded Raptors aren’t getting much credit as a legitimate title contender as most hoops experts expect Cleveland to waltz into the NBA Finals, but I’m ere to say that I wouldn’t underestimate the back court duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan one bit, even if they do look like long shots to win the East.


I really thought the fifth-seeded Heat could challenge Cleveland if they meet in the postseason, but not after seeing them held to five points in the third quarter of their regular season finale against Boston on Wednesday night. I like the Heat’s mix of youth and veteran leadership, but without Chris Bosh, the Heat won’t make it out of the East.


The Celtics are young and energetic and they play fast and smart under stupendous Head coach Brad Stevens, but the C’s are at least two more players and another year away from really challenging for conference supremacy in the East.


The Hawks have a great roster and a great head coach, but what they don’t have is very many players with cojones. I mean, really, outside of Paul Millsap, how many Hawks players would you want on your side in a street fight?


Could sweet-shooting point guard Kemba Walker, low post Jedi Master Al Jefferson and the rest of the underrated Charlotte Hornets surprise this postseason? I believe they very well could. I think it’s quite possible that the Hornets could find a way to overachieve and reach the Eastern Conference Finals, but that’s about where their season will come to a screeching halt – if they get that far.


Damian Lillard is a baaaaad man, but even he can’t carry an undermanned Blazers team to a Western Conference title over the quartet of aforementioned Western Conference favorites, including their first round opponents, the L.A. Clippers.


The Pacers got smacked around by Toronto three times in four regular season meetings and will almost assuredly do the same to them in their first round playoff series. The bottom line for Indy is that Paul George doesn’t have enough scoring help to beat a superiors and well-balanced Toronto Raptors team in the first round.

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I can see the Pistons giving Cleveland a tough way to go in their first round playoff match ups, but in the end, I think Stan Van Gundy’s team is another year or two away from really challenging for something special.


The Rockets will get bounced out of the postseason by Golden State in the first round.


The Mavericks face an uphill battle in trying to beat Oklahoma City in the first round.


The Grizzlies should get swept by San Antonio in the first round. Save your money!